Swedish: ä = ae ? ö = oe? Acceptable?

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Arkalai, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Arkalai Senior Member

    London, England
    English- British

    using a standard english keyboard, swedish characters can only be used by typing in the Alt code. Is it acceptable to replace ä with ae and ö with oe, like in german? Is there one for å?

  2. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    Hi Arkalai!

    As far as I know ä and ö did originate from ae and oe, or were at least written like that.
    å on the other hand originated from aa, or used to be written that way.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    It is not only acceptable - it is the correct way to do it. TELEX-machines used to do i automatically even though you had those charactesr on the keyboard.

    The substitute for "å" is "aa". Until sometime around the fifties Danes did not use "å" - the double-a was standard spelling.
  4. solregn Senior Member

    Lyon, France
    All depends on context! In a chat message, yes it might be acceptable, knowing that the other person cannot type the correct letters. But it can still create misunderstandings and shouldn't be used as a general rule. In emails, formal as well as informal, I wouldn't recommend it at all.
  5. brtkrbzhnv

    brtkrbzhnv Junior Member

    Swedish – Stockholm

    I highly recommend that you use Å, Ä and Ö. You may want to try the US-International keyboard layout for easier access.
  6. hanne Senior Member

    It's acceptable, but it's less common in the Scandinavian languages than it is in German (probably because æøåäö count as separate letters here, and not just as accented letters as in German, French, etc).
    Personally, I find it mildly annoying to read texts that are written with substituted letters, so if you want to do your reader a favour, I think you should also consider making the effort.
  7. Lugubert Senior Member

    Some friends of mine use the aa-å. ae-ä, oe-ö substitutions when mailing from abroad. Others just skip the dots/circles. Surprise surprise, I rather prefer reading the skipped varieties.

    Myself, abroad I'm always carrying a liddle slip with the appropriate Windows Alt codes. There are only six of them for åäö caps/lower case, and for people I care about, I find the minimal extra effort to make their reading easier is well worth my miniscule additional work.
  8. Södertjej

    Södertjej Senior Member

    Junto al Mediterráneo
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    I'd say acceptable when you can't possibly type those letters, but I don't think it's advisable at all. Correct? I don't know what Språkrådet says about it, to me it doesn't feel correct, rather just an emergency solution because those are simply Swedish letters and are supposed to be used. In chats and text messages you'll often find ä replaced with e, which is not correct at all, but just a fast way to type.

    Personally I go for a (ä & å) and o (ö) when I don't have the right keyboard, like when using laptops without number pad so I can't use the Alt+number option.
  9. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    Still, if you don't hav them in your character set, you don't have them. Or if you are writing names in a language where nobody would understand the Scandinavian characters, or for various technical reasons they would not be acceptable - then they are OK. What is absolutely useless is when e.g. the editors of electronic maps for road navigation equipment just substitute ø with an o and so on. Nobody really has a chance to know how to look up A.P. Møllers PLads and such.
  10. Södertjej

    Södertjej Senior Member

    Junto al Mediterráneo
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    That would be writing a Swedish name using another language's character set, somehow writing in another language, not writing in Swedish. And no language has any authority on another. For instance, even if the inexistent English Language Academy claimed it's ok to write Swedish names that way, that (imaginary) academy (but actual for other languages) has no right to say what's right or wrong in other languages but English. It could only set the rules about how to transcribe certain foreign characters into English, but that would not be writing in Swedish.

    I understand the OP wants to know if that spelling is correct according to the Swedish spelling rules (am I right you want to know that?), and the answer imo is no, I would neve consider that correct but you can use that as some kind of more or less standard transcription for those sounds/keyboard limitations, etc. As it's been mentioned, Swedes usually write a/o for ä/ö rather than ae/oe.
  11. jonquiliser

    jonquiliser Senior Member

    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    If it's informal, skipping works, otherwise, use the right letters.

    Personally, I have never seen aa/ae/oe for å/ä/ö used in Swedish mails or chatting, only plain a's and o's. That's what I'd do myself if I don't have the time or can't be bothered when abroad. a/ä/ö is also quite common (because you can make the latter using a/o+¨, but there's no circle). Otherwise, copy-pasting works fine, and anything you google up in Swedish will provide you with the letters. Or, if you have MS Word, make it autoreplace some signs with the appropriate letter. Piece of cake :).
  12. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    That's actually not a bad idea at all. Although I don't see the need for that at the moment since I'm using a German keyboard :D. When I chat in Swedish, I use ä and ö normally, and replace å with aa or, less frequently, a simple a.
  13. Södertjej

    Södertjej Senior Member

    Junto al Mediterráneo
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    If you're using a Swedish mobile phone you'll need to press the key four times to get an ä, just one to get an e. If that phone can't be set to Swedish, you might need to get to the special characters set. Besides, many people write the way things are pronounced, as discussed here before: de=dom, är=e, etc.
  14. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Moderatös

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    The international spelling alphabet used in aviation and many other contexts does indeed replace å with aa, ä with ae and ö with oe. They won't be used often in civil aviation because the letters aren't used for flight numbers or other things that need to be spelled out often. However, should you need to spell out å, you would say Alpha Alpha, for ä: Alpha Echo and for ö: Oscar Echo.

    Source: Wikipedia (and a friend who's an air traffic controller)

  15. maiteinliverpool Senior Member

    I am currently writing formal emails in Swedish at work and until now I had been using "ae", "aa" and "oe", oh dear :) Basically because I have to write in different languages and don't want to be changing the configuration of the keyboard all the time (you can also call me lazy hehe I only change the configuration if I must write in Spanish, my mother tongue, can't do it without the graphic accents hehe).Then is it not very good etiquette? Thanks in advance
  16. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Moderatös

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    For formal emails, I would most definitely make the effort of writing it with the Swedish characters. In a professional context, I (and probably lots of other Swedes) would tend to ignore or frown on any messages written in Swedish without the proper character set. You'd probably be taken more seriously, in that case, if the message were written in correct formal English! :)

    Also, in Windows XP, there's no excuse, because once you've installed your different language configurations, you just toggle between them using Alt+Shift, and type away. It's soooo easy! All the major keyboard layouts can be found in the same Wikipedia article, click here for the Swedish one!

    Another option is to write the text in your favourite word processor, using the auto-correction feature to automatically replace aa with å, ae with ä etc.

    I also found a link where you can get the special characters for most languages online, including IPA for English - typeit.org. That's more cumbersome, but useful for languages you rarely use.

  17. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    This is not correct: äöü count as separate letters (and vowels) in German too.
  18. hanne Senior Member

    Oh, sorry about that, and thanks for the correction.
    What I learned is that they don't have separate positions in the alphabet in German, but are just sorted together with a, o, and u (my dictionary does that).
    Which makes them not-quite-proper-letters to me ;), and is opposed to the Scandinavian alphabets which go a, b, ..., z, æ, ø, å, ä, ö (remove the letters that don't apply to your language of choice, and the order should be correct for the ones that are left).
  19. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    It is worse. You find three different collating sequences: Umlauted vowels are treated as if not umlauted; umlauted vowels are treated as if spelled ae, oe or ue; aäbc... oöpq...uüvwxzy (less frequently). Occasionally you also find ...xyzäöü but that is very rare.
  20. hanne Senior Member

    I guess it's a matter of definition then. When they don't have their own, well-defined position in the alphabet, then they aren't "real" letters - to me anyway ;).
  21. JeanJean Junior Member

    å is then only written with an "a". If You havent an swedish keybord.
  22. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    I've also seen à used for å when you don't have a Swedish keyboard.
  23. Kumpel Senior Member

    London, England
    British English

    That's German, I know, but I hope it helps in some way.


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